Bryce Cotton, Big East's leading scorer last season, returns for senior campaign and high expectations with Providence College, who released their nonconference schedule this morning.
Make no mistake about it, one of the sleeper teams in the Big East this season will be Providence College.
Now in his third season at the helm of the Friars, head coach Ed Cooley is building off last year's meteoric rise that included a return to the National Invitation Tournament with a nonconference schedule that is both aggressive and opportunistic, two words that fit Cooley's reputation as the 43-year-old has become one of the best young coaches in the nation, turning what had been a struggling Providence program into one of the most deceptively strong teams and best-kept secrets in the country.
Following an exhibition game on November 2nd against Division III Rhode Island College and head coach Bob Walsh, the Friars will christen their 2013-14 season with a four-game homestand, first against Boston College on November 8th before intracity rival Brown comes to the Dunkin' Donuts Center five days later. Home games against Marist (November 16th) and Vermont (November 18th) complete the quartet before Providence heads to the Virgin Islands to compete in the Paradise Jam, with their first game coming on November 22nd against Vanderbilt. Three more games ensue on the next three days, with the Friars' opponents coming from a group that includes, Maryland, La Salle, Northern Iowa, Marist, Morgan State, and Loyola Marymount.
Providence returns to the mainland on November 29th for the third annual "Cooley Bowl," to be contested against Ed's former Fairfield program inside the Dunkin' Donuts Center in what has become a new tradition for the Friars. Two days later, Cooley and company head to Brooklyn for the first time, as the Friars will take on John Calipari and Kentucky inside the Barclays Center on December 1st. From there, Providence returns to the Ocean State for a December 5th showdown in Kingston against Dan Hurley and Rhode Island, with an eleven-day hiatus for final exams preceding the Friars' December 17th home game against Yale. Providence has two more nonconference games after that, with Maine coming to the Dunkin' Donuts Center on December 21st, and the Friars hitting the road to face Massachusetts on December 28th.
2013-14 Providence College Nonconference Schedule (all times Eastern)
Saturday, November 2nd: Exhibition vs. Rhode Island College, 7pm
Friday, November 8th: vs. Boston College, 6pm
Wednesday, November 13th: vs. Brown, 7pm
Saturday, November 16th: vs. Marist, TBA
Monday, November 18th: vs. Vermont, TBA
Friday, November 22nd: vs. Vanderbilt in Paradise Jam, 6:30 pm
Saturday, November 23rd - Monday, November 25th: Paradise Jam, TBA
Friday, November 29th: vs. Fairfield, TBA
Sunday, December 1st: vs. Kentucky at Barclays Center, 8pm
Thursday, December 5th: at Rhode Island, TBA
Tuesday, December 17th: vs. Yale, 7pm
Saturday, December 21st: vs. Maine, TBA
Saturday, December 28th: at Massachusetts, TBA